Today we’d like to introduce you to Marsha Sharp.
Hi Marsha, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My mother surprised me one Christmas, when I was a Senior in high school, with a little red Nikon Coolpix camera and I honestly thought to myself “I’m never going to use this” but as it turns out, it changed my life. I started to take pictures of nature because nature is FREE and doesn’t talk back to you. This gave me the chance to start playing around with the camera and all of its settings.
I, later on, wanted to start photographing models, but being from a small town on the coast of North Carolina, I didn’t know how to find them. So my mother was my first model, I started practicing with her. I would put flowers in her hair or I would cover her in colorful paint and start to learn how to pose people. That’s when I realized how much I love photographing people and I knew that this was a great way for me to express myself creatively. I then started taking pictures of my friends and sharing them on my Instagram and that’s when the real journey truly began! I started sharing my work on Instagram back in 2015 and this was during the very early stages of Instagram where photographers were really praised for their creativity and their work would get noticed a lot easier.
My account grew very quickly because I would post a picture every single day, I remember going from having 500 followers to gaining over 30,000. Side-note, I’ll never forget how excited I was to get my 1000th follower… those were the good days. After a year of doing this, I knew it was time for me to move to the next chapter of my life, so I moved to New York City to study photography at the New York Film Academy. I packed my belongings and left North Carolina to get my education and to take my photography to the next level. New York was exactly where I wanted to be and I’m so glad that I made it happen. The school was very tough on us but I learned so much not only about photography but the world itself.
I was only 19 when I moved to the “BIG city” and I’m 24 now, so looking back on it I can honestly say that I was very brave for doing that. Not only was I a full-time student but I was also shooting with professional models all over the city every chance I had. I even got the opportunity to work with some of the biggest “Instagram models” at that time, which was super fun! I definitely recommend anyone to pick up any camera that you may have and go out and explore with people and take pictures… It’s truly one of the funniest things to do!
After graduating, I had no choice but to move back home because my student debt hit, and I needed to pay off my loans and that was impossible for me to do in NYC. It’s no secret that New York is very expensive but I’m happy to report that I paid every penny of my $35,000 student loan this year! Wahoooooooo!!! So what’s next? I started diving into the world of YouTube in 2020. My channel- Marsha Sharp- is just getting started. I’m also transitioning from male to female and I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life.
Fight for your dreams always and if you believe in yourself and if put your heart into it, anything is possible.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
NO! Haha nothing has ever been “smooth” or “easy” for me!
Everyone has their own journey and their own story but it has always seemed like I have had to fight ten times harder than everyone else. A big struggle has always been money! People don’t usually admit that but it takes a lot of money to not only survive on this Earth but also finance all of my dreams and photography projects. It takes a lot of money to make my visions come to life but I’ve always looked at it as an investment towards my future and my business. Hopefully one day it’ll all pay off!
Another challenge that I faced during all of this was coming to terms with my sexuality. Being born and raised in a small southern, country town in North Carolina was not easy! I came out as gay when I was 18 and for six years, I truly thought that I was a very feminine gay man but that wasn’t the case. Later on, I realized that I am and have always meant to be a woman.
But that’s a whole story within itself. But I’m so happy to report that my family has accepted it and I’ve currently been on hormone replacement therapy for five months now. I’m very blessed and I thank God every day for my incredible family and friends.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a fashion photographer, YouTuber, makeup artist, model, director, singer, designer, etc.
My art! I am known for my photography style which is very saturated and vivid.
The body of work/the portfolio that I’ve created thus far. I can also honestly say that I’m proud to admit that I’ve never given up. There have been many times where I thought that I was gonna have to give it all up and go back to college and become a radiologist or a teacher but that’s not me. I will always create art until the day I die.
My creativity, my personality, and my work ethic.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
My favorite book and film will always be The Wizard of Oz by Lyman Frank Baum.
The favorite app is Instagram obviously but it definitely is not the same as it use to be, unfortunately.
Haven’t found a podcast that I like yet… maybe I’ll make my own one day.
Movies are a big part of my creativity. People like Lady GaGa are another big source of inspiration to me.
Anyone who is creative can relate when I say that inspiration can come from anything. Even driving around in my car I find places, people, things that can inspire a whole photoshoot.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marshasharpphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marshall.v.sharp/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marshavsharp
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MarshaSharpstaysharp